Overweight Pets; Fighting the Obesity Epidemic

Chances are if your pet is overweight, you don’t even know it. At least that’s what a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) says. Roughly 45 percent of pet owners with an overweight or obese pet thought their animal was at a healthy weight.

The majority of dogs and cats in U.S. households are now overweight, with 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats above their ideal weight. Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco says it’s something she sees all too often.

“I would say two-thirds to four-fifths of the pets I see for regular check-ups are overweight to obese,” Dr. Vickers says.

dachshund pit bull mix

Sundown is at an ideal weight, according to the Nestle Purina weight chart. If you compare this picture to the chart below, you’ll see he matches up with the side view of the number 5 dog.

Overweight and obese animals are subject to the same diseases as humans and there has been a sharp increase in pet disease, including diabetes, hypertensions and cancer. But all these debilitating conditions are preventable by keeping your pet at a healthy weight.

You might be overwhelmed if you have an overweight pet, so we’re laying out the professional tips for getting your furry friend back in shape.

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FDA Moves to Regulate Pet-Food Production

The Food and Drug Administraton announced Friday it is proposing new regulations for the pet food industry. The announcement comes after thousands of pets have been sickened and hundreds have died from contaminated chicken jerky treats originating in China.

You may find it shocking this is the first time the FDA is taking steps to protect pet food from disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants. But we at YDB have provided some sobering facts about the commercial pet food industry, and are glad to hear the FDA is now taking a stand to protect pets.

The proposed rule would create regulations for commercial food sold in stores as well as the feed given to livestock that will eventually be used in commercial food. The entire process would be regulated, from manufacturing and processing to packaging and holding of animal food. 

“Unlike safeguards already in place to protect human foods, there are currently no regulations governing the safe production of most animal foods,” Dr. Daniel McChesney, an FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine official, says. “There is no type of hazard analysis. This rule would change all that.”

The proposed rule will also hold pet foods exported to the United States to the same FDA safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. It would require facilities to have a food safety plan, analyze potential hazards and take steps to minimize those hazards. 

However, the new rule will not address the make-up of pet food; things like allergens in pet food will not be regulated, which can be an issue for many dogs, including Yellow Dog. Common allergens found in commercial dog food are beef, corn, soy, wheat and fillers such as dried beet pulp.

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register, with a 120-day public comment period. Three public meetings will be held on the proposed rule in College Park, Maryland, Chicago and Sacramento, California.